I can make that…

Have you gotten caught in the “I could make that” trap?

I totally do. All the time. Funnily enough, the last time this came up, a videocast by Margaret Olander popped up discussing the issue 🙂

Here’s how I look at the problem:

  • Do I actually want the thing or is it just a cool challenge?
  • Am I actually going to make the thing?
  • Why am I doing it?
    • Save Money
    • I can do it better/more to my liking
    • build skills

When I attended the 2017 Griffin Dyeworks Fall Fiber Frolic, I took a class on art loom weaving. We got to borrow some of the hand looms from her booth. They’re made of wood. Which I do sometimes work with 😉 There were also some fun tools, weaving needles and beaters. I also took a kumihimo class. Several booths sold kits and pieces for making your own weaving circle.

I’d admired the looms at last year’s event, but talked myself out of them. This year, taking the class and getting a 20% discount, couldn’t say no. But! While the loom might be a little out of my depth, both my husband and neighbor are better wordworkers. But would I get around to asking, arranging time, setting up tools? Nope. So I bought the loom. The beater and the needles looked more do-able. But the beater is maybe just a little longer project than I’m going to address right now (what with gift knitting, crochet, kumihimo, embroidery, oh not to mention kids and life). The needles, though. The needles were both within my scope and my ability.

I even had scrap wood! And I only broke one of the proposed needles. They’re not perfect. They need some fine tuning, sanding, maybe just some playing in my hand to really make them nice. But they are totally functional and I get to try several different lengths to see what I like or what I need per situation. Total love.

Kumihimo, on the other hand. Different story. The disc we used in class (lower right & lower middle) was paper. The kits for sale (at a very reasonable $15) were foam, as were the single foam you could buy ($3). I wanted to make it, though. So today at Michael’s I got a thick piece of foam & a thinner piece with one sticky side for $2. I should be able to make two pieces out of it of roughly the size. And maybe a smaller one. Plus, new skills and I get to play around.

Anything you’ve said “I could make that” and actually went home to make?

Griffin Dyeworks -Fiber Frolic Fun

On a sunny Saturday in March I dragged my friend Courtney down from San Luis Obispo to a Fiber Frolic in Sherman Oaks (that’s LA). IMG_20170318_092701.jpgsingle_griffen-final-r-aCourtney’s not even a fiber person exactly, what she is is up for arts & crafts! The event was hosted by Griffin Dyeworks, and I originally heard about it from Annie of the Petite Weaver Podcast.

Spoiler alert, you want to go to one of these!


We got to the site about 30 minutes early, just enough to check-in and wander the few vendor tables that were available with products. IMG_20170318_100034

One of the first things I did was say hi to Annie. She started to introduce herself and I butted in with “I know! I watch your podcast!” She was super duper sweet. She was teaching a bead class, so Courtney and I headed out to our main event – basket weaving!


We were delerious with happiness over these tiny little baskets. That first pic is teacher Melise Gerber  & the other lady is our polymer button teacher Becky. The basket weaving wasn’t hard, but I’m glad we did it in a class so we had someone to check in with and to reassure us that things were on track. And all the baskets came out slightly different, which was pretty cool.


Know how I know these are my people? I wasn’t the first one in line for lunch. I was third.


We had lunch with Amy, who has a beautiful dyeing notebook. She’s also got a fabulous garden at home to grow her own dyes. Coolest people.

Then it was off to bead making. We used pasta rollers to get the dough worked up nice and smooth, and then to help combine the colors. Learned some cool tricks for things like polka dots, lines, and even using eyeshadow to make the buttons glittery!

And I ended the day with a Basic Needle Felting (ouch) class with Hillary from The Fiber Ranch. I only got one tiny little poke, not even blood, but those little barbs make for quite the sting. Oh, and because I really wanted a black nose, my “sheep,” as Hillary pointed out, looks like a wolf in sheep’s closing. I totally want to make more of these.